For 24 years J.D. Power and Associates have carried out a long-term Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) by assessing the number of problems exhibited by each nameplate’s vehicle lineup. Although they don’t publish their exact methodology, the general idea is that the VDS “measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old vehicles”.
So, for each brand they average the number of reported problems per 100 vehicles from the 2010 model year, and use that data to determine a brand’s PP100 dependability score. A lower score is better, and only models that were significantly refreshed three years ago are counted in the study.
As you know from the title, Toyota Corp. was rated with the least problems per 100 vehicles. In fact, Lexus was rated as the least problematic nameplate with a PP100 score of just 71. The Toyota nameplate managed a score of 112, while Scion performed poorly with a score of 135. For reference, the industry average PP100 score for this year’s study was 126, which is the lowest it’s ever been.
Toyota also managed to claim seven category awards compared to General Motor’s four. For your information, the categories where Toyota came out on top were:
* Sub-Compact Car – Scion xD
* Compact Car – Toyota Prius
* Entry Premium Car – Lexus ES 350
* Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle – Scion xB
* Midsize Premium Crossover – Lexus RX (lowest PP100 score of any vehicle at 57)
* Compact Crossover – Toyota RAV4
* Minivan – Toyota Sienna
Considering that there were only 18 categories total, this is quite an impressive performance from Toyota. Other Japanese cars that claimed category awards were:
* Compact Sporty Car; Mazda MX-5 Miata
* Compact Premium Sporty Car; Nissan Z
* Midsize Crossover; Honda Crosstour
* Entry Premium Crossover; Acura RDX
2013 was a very good year for the entire automotive industry, but Japanese brands in particular did well. Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Acura, Suzuki and Mazda all ranked above average, and Subaru was just 2 points away. Surprisingly, Nissan did quite poorly with a score of 137 while their luxury brand, Infiniti, did one worse at 138. Mitsubishi was in the bottom three with an astonishingly terrible score of 178.
Keep in mind that J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study is at least somewhat flawed… For example, it doesn’t take into account a car’s mileage, and a “problem” can be anything from faulty Bluetooth to engine failure. Still, J.D. Power and Associates made the point that buying used cars is becoming safer and safer as the industry average PP100 score continues to decline year after year. Now is a better time than ever to buy a used Japanese car – literally!
Source: JD Power